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News > School Newsletter > From our Head of House - Ward

From our Head of House - Ward

Mrs Emma Hughes, Head of Ward reflects on friendship and connection from afar - and how Ward House has done a stellar job of building community during remote learning.
Ward House can't wait to gather like this soon, and has done a great job building community remotely
Ward House can't wait to gather like this soon, and has done a great job building community remotely

Just before Term 3 came to an end, I came across a wonderful article by Linda Stade, an education writer, speaker and consultant, entitled 'Friendship Lessons from a Fishbowl.'

Linda writes about seven key lessons in friendship that all young people should learn early in life to enable building healthy relationships in the school setting. For those of us who shared the post with our friends and colleagues, we all agreed it was excellent messaging – and a useful reminder for adults too!

As the “friendship bubble” was announced over the holidays, I read the many conversations across social media with interest; thinking about the context of our students and further pressures this could place on their sense of belonging and dynamics with their peers.

Linda writes that “a fish belongs to a school of lots of other fish” and I thought this was a very timely reminder that no one friend can be all things to you. We all need lots of friends, each having unique connections and experiences with us, and that we also need to allow our friends to have other friends. Linda also makes an excellent point that we should “swim in more than one fishbowl” – and that diversity in our friendships is so important. Our lives are always enriched when we have friends in other contexts and settings.

As we continue into another couple of weeks of remote learning, the Pastoral Team have been in ongoing conversations about the importance of remaining connected and assisting our students in doing this. Having returned from a period of leave in Term 2 and launched once more into the world of Zoom, I too wondered how I would authentically connect with my team and our students. I need not have feared, as Ward House quickly became the thriving community we know and love across the airwaves. From Ward 5’s commitment to themed Zoom backgrounds, to our House Captain Jordy’s daily motivational emails and the Ward House Captain’s Instagram page - Ward proved they can remain as a family under any circumstances. 

As I welcomed our new House Captain (Madison Webster) and our new House Council for 2021-2022, we were able to laugh together over our collective Zoom photo and start to think about our goals as they step into the leadership space this term.

I would like to recognise the wonderful efforts of the Ward Tutors and Advisors during this time, who have repeatedly checked in with our students, each other, and with me. They have remained flexible and positive as things have twisted and turned and this time has made me reflect, despite all the challenges of 2021, that we learn so much about ourselves through adversity. And when things don’t go quite as we expect, “just keep swimming!”

Click here to read more from Linda Stade.

Mrs Emma Hughes

Head of House - Ward

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